2 Kings 5
-This chapter revolves around the foreigner from Aram (north and east of Israel) named Naaman. This great man, who was highly respected and a victorious man by the LORD’s choosing, happened to have leprosy. An Israeli servant girl who had been captured in a raid by the Arameans encouraged Naaman to go to Elisha in Israel for physical curing of his disease. Naaman sought permission from the king of Aram and was sent with abundant provision. Naaman first stop was with the king of Israel, who tore his clothes in disgust and suspicion of his enemy with no concept of the LORD’s possible intervention and miraculous work. Elisha somehow heard about the event and sent for the highly respected Naaman to come to his house to prove that there is a true prophet and real God in Israel. Naaman came with quite an entourage to the house of the prophet expecting some huge and dramatic display of healing. Elisha had simply instructed the leprous man to go and wash in the Jordan River seven times. It was Naaman’s servants who finally convinced him to give it a try at the simple word of the LORD through His prophet. Naaman had been furious that such an easy solution was offered for healing and thought some of the more northern rivers of water would have been cleaner and more advantageous for purification (this is still true today as the northern spring rivers come fresh and pure from the mountains and drain into the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan filters out of the Sea of Galilee with much more contaminants). Nonetheless, he ultimately obeyed the easy request of the prophet and was dramatically and miraculously healed of his affliction! Upon Naaman’s return to the man of God, Elisha, he claimed out loud, “Behold now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; so please take a present from your servant now.” Elisha refused any gifts and sent him on his way back to Aram. Naaman swore to no longer offer burnt offerings nor sacrifices to other gods, but only to the LORD (a transformation, a conversion had happened, truth wins!). He asked to be pardoned from having to obey his master, the king, when he went into Rimmon (a false god) to worship from the LORD and the prophet gave him peace in this matter.
-The plot thickens a bit when Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, gets greedy and tracks down Naaman on his way back home. He cons the respectful and honored man into giving him two talents of silver and two changes of clothes. Elisha knew of the lie of his servant in his heart and cursed him, as well as his descendents forever, with leprosy (2 Kings 5:1-27).
-*Application* This is a story about seeking the truth and finding it with many morals. Great people are highly respected people, which mean they have somehow earned the right to be considered favored. We see admiration from people in regards to Naaman from all sides. The king of Aram respected him, the servant girl wanted to help him, and the prophet wanted to heal and bless him all for the glory of God. Naaman sought out things and was not too proud to listen even to his servants in finding an answer to the overarching problem. His disease was fatal and contagious. He was desperate and came to the right source for healing and he eventually humbled himself to find a solution. Sometimes the simple commands of God are the most potent. Listen to what He tells you to do and don’t get angry or frustrated when they seem too effortless or irrational. This is a great lesson from this passage. Also, be generous as Naaman was, and not greedy and deceptive like Gehazi was.
Verse to Memorize: 2 Kings 5:15